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Follow-up in the field of reproductive medicine : an ethical exploration

(2020) REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE. 41(6). p.1144-1150
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Abstract
Research question: What ethical implications, issues and concerns play a role in conducting follow-up studies of children born after assisted reproductive technologies (ART)? Design: Literature study and relevant experiences of academic medical centres in Brussels, Belgium, and Maastricht, the Netherlands were used to identify and analyse the most pertinent ethical implications, issues and concerns. Results: According to recommendations from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, follow-up (ideally long term) of children conceived through medically assisted reproduction (MAR) should be an integral part of introducing new ART. With potentially risky new ART on the horizon, these recommendations need to be taken more seriously. Apart from practical barriers, such as funding, challenges for follow-up include securing active involvement of families of children conceived through MAR, starting with parents of young children, and ideally involving consenting adolescents and adults during a large part of their lives, possibly even into the next generation. Conclusions: From an ethical viewpoint, the most pertinent issues include the proportionality of the inevitable burdens and risks for families of children conceived through MAR, and the implications of the principle of respect for autonomy. The proportionality requirement is most critical when it concerns incompetent children, who should not be included in research with more than minimal burdens and risks if there is no reasonable expectation of benefit for themselves. With respect for autonomy, we argue that, when seeking voluntary consent for participating in followup studies that meet the condition of proportionality, professionals may encourage members of families of children conceived through MAR to partake in follow-up research.
Keywords
Developmental Biology, Reproductive Medicine, Ethics, Follow-up research, Informed consent, Proportionality principle, Reproductive medicine, Respect for autonomy, CHILDREN BORN, TECHNOLOGIES, DUTY

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MLA
Jans, Verna, et al. “Follow-up in the Field of Reproductive Medicine : An Ethical Exploration.” REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE, vol. 41, no. 6, 2020, pp. 1144–50, doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.08.033.
APA
Jans, V., Dondorp, W., Bonduelle, M., de Die, C., Mertes, H., Pennings, G., & de Wert, G. (2020). Follow-up in the field of reproductive medicine : an ethical exploration. REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE, 41(6), 1144–1150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.08.033
Chicago author-date
Jans, Verna, Wybo Dondorp, Maryse Bonduelle, Christine de Die, Heidi Mertes, Guido Pennings, and Guido de Wert. 2020. “Follow-up in the Field of Reproductive Medicine : An Ethical Exploration.” REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE 41 (6): 1144–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.08.033.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Jans, Verna, Wybo Dondorp, Maryse Bonduelle, Christine de Die, Heidi Mertes, Guido Pennings, and Guido de Wert. 2020. “Follow-up in the Field of Reproductive Medicine : An Ethical Exploration.” REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE 41 (6): 1144–1150. doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.08.033.
Vancouver
1.
Jans V, Dondorp W, Bonduelle M, de Die C, Mertes H, Pennings G, et al. Follow-up in the field of reproductive medicine : an ethical exploration. REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE. 2020;41(6):1144–50.
IEEE
[1]
V. Jans et al., “Follow-up in the field of reproductive medicine : an ethical exploration,” REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 1144–1150, 2020.
@article{8684447,
  abstract     = {{Research question: What ethical implications, issues and concerns play a role in conducting follow-up studies of children born after assisted reproductive technologies (ART)?

Design: Literature study and relevant experiences of academic medical centres in Brussels, Belgium, and Maastricht, the Netherlands were used to identify and analyse the most pertinent ethical implications, issues and concerns.

Results: According to recommendations from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, follow-up (ideally long term) of children conceived through medically assisted reproduction (MAR) should be an integral part of introducing new ART. With potentially risky new ART on the horizon, these recommendations need to be taken more seriously. Apart from practical barriers, such as funding, challenges for follow-up include securing active involvement of families of children conceived through MAR, starting with parents of young children, and ideally involving consenting adolescents and adults during a large part of their lives, possibly even into the next generation.

Conclusions: From an ethical viewpoint, the most pertinent issues include the proportionality of the inevitable burdens and risks for families of children conceived through MAR, and the implications of the principle of respect for autonomy. The proportionality requirement is most critical when it concerns incompetent children, who should not be included in research with more than minimal burdens and risks if there is no reasonable expectation of benefit for themselves. With respect for autonomy, we argue that, when seeking voluntary consent for participating in followup studies that meet the condition of proportionality, professionals may encourage members of families of children conceived through MAR to partake in follow-up research.}},
  author       = {{Jans, Verna and Dondorp, Wybo and Bonduelle, Maryse and de Die, Christine and Mertes, Heidi and Pennings, Guido and de Wert, Guido}},
  issn         = {{1472-6483}},
  journal      = {{REPRODUCTIVE BIOMEDICINE ONLINE}},
  keywords     = {{Developmental Biology,Reproductive Medicine,Ethics,Follow-up research,Informed consent,Proportionality principle,Reproductive medicine,Respect for autonomy,CHILDREN BORN,TECHNOLOGIES,DUTY}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{6}},
  pages        = {{1144--1150}},
  title        = {{Follow-up in the field of reproductive medicine : an ethical exploration}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.08.033}},
  volume       = {{41}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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